Images that are manifestly staged or reenacted can be an important resource in understanding how war is mediated and remembered.

Reenactment and Remembrance: Warring Visions of Vietnam

October 11, 2022

About this event

This event is sponsored by SFU's Global Asia Program, School for International Studies, Department of World Languages and Literatures, and David Lam Centre.

Histories of war photography seldom take seriously the category of images that are manifestly staged or reenacted. However, such images are an important resource in understanding warring visions — how conflicts are mediated and how they are remembered in the Vietnam conflict and, more broadly, in the global Cold War. Through a consideration of the works of South Vietnamese colonel and veteran photographer, Nguyễn Ngọc Hạnh, and diasporic artist An-My Lê, this presentation considers how reenactment challenges historical interpretation, illuminating parallels between American and Vietnamese worldviews and the disjunctions between them.


Thy Phu is Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Toronto (Scarborough). Her research and public humanities practice examine the intersections between media studies, diaspora and migration, vision and justice. She is the author of two monographs (Picturing Model Citizens: Civility in Asian American Visual Culture and Warring Visions: Photography and Vietnam), co-editor of three essay collections (Feeling Photography, Refugee States, and Cold War Camera), and co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Trans Asia Photography. She is also Director and PI of The Family Camera Network, a SSHRC-funded collaborative research project that partners with arts organizations and educational institutions to engage local communities in the building of an antiracist public archive through the collection and preservation of family photographs and their stories. In 2017, she was elected a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists at the Royal Society of Canada.

October 10th, 2022

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 2270